Seleucid Study Day III: Panel of the VIIth Celtic Conference of ClassicsExport this event to calendar

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 (all day) to Friday, September 7, 2012 (all day)

Following previous meetings at Exeter and Waterloo in 2011, the Seleucid Study Group met for a third time at the VIIth Celtic Conference of Classics which was hosted by Anton Powell (Classical Press of Wales) and Jean Yvonneau (Bordeaux) at the University of Bordeaux III. A particular Seleucid Panel allowed the continuation of the collaborative and interdisciplinary research agenda on one of the most under-explored world empires. In his introductory address, the panel convenor Kyle Erickson (Trinity St David, Lampeter, Wales) pointed out two particular desiderata of Seleucid Studies: first the necessity to include more systematically the satrapies east of the Euphrates into the picture, and secondly to focus more strongly on the intervening period between Seleucus I, the founder of the dynasty (ruled 320/311-281 BC), and its second pinnacle Antiochus III (ruled 223-187 BC). Issues of joint as well as rivalling kingship within the dynasty were addressed by Altay Coskun (Waterloo, ON) and Kyle Erickson who reconsidered the War of Brothers (246-241 rather than 241-227 BC), by John R. Holton (Edinburgh) who analysed the Seleucid concept of the jointly ruling son, and by Marie Widmer (Lausanne, CH), who looked at the role of Stratonice in the context of the succession of Antiochus II and Seleucus II. The view that the eastern satrapies seceded effectively under the rules of Antiochus II or Seleucus II was challenged by discussing the Persian Frataraka (David Engels, Bruxelles), the Bactrian Diodotids (Richard Wenghofer, Nipissing, ON) and the Parthian Arsacids (Rolf Strootman, Utrecht). We were cautioned against equalling the acceptance of 'feudal' structures (Engels) with vassal kings instead of centralized rule through satraps as weakness and also reminded of the 'resilience' (Strootman) of Seleucid royal power. The local autonomy of Olympichus of Caria and Philhetaerus of Pergamum (3rd century) has to be understood along similar lines (Laurent Capedetrey, Bordeaux). A special case of local dynasts were the family of Achaeus the Elder who rather seems to hail from Macedon and acquired estates and dynastic links in Western Asia Minor and beyond (Alex McAuley, McGill, Montreal QB & Monica D'Agostini, Milan and Bologna). Two papers helped to reassess our understanding of the continuity and ruptures between the Achaemenid empire and the start of the Seleucid empire. One offered a new approach to Macedonian colonies in Asia Minor, stressing the high degree of autonomy among at least the earliest settlers (ca. 325-275 BC), thus downplaying the role of royal policy (Stephen Mitchell, Exeter). The other addressed the change of the chancery style from the Achaemenids to the Seleucids in the late 4th century and suggested a discontinuity that may have been uniquely Seleucid(Boris Chrubasik, Oxford). At the same time, many papers demonstrated the importance of genealogical and prosopographical studies to add to our understanding of the empire. The latter strand of research will soon be pursued further at Seleucid Study Day IV: Seleucid Royal Women, to be hosted at McGill University (February 20-23, 2013)

Location 
Institut Ausonius, Université de Bordeaux


Bordeaux,
France

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